When My Child Just Doesn't "Get It" And I'm Worn Out From His Behavior!

The door SLAMS and my ears vibrate in the aftermath.

I walk into the kitchen staring at my once clean floors, and It’s obvious that not one blessed child took off their shoes before entering the house.

One kid starts shrieking from the other room. One sibling or another had taken “his spot” on the couch.

Another cries out woefully—his brother hit him.

Later that night, someone will complain about what’s being served for dinner.

No one will put their dirty clothes in the hamper!

At bedtime, one boy will speak rudely to me and another will fight me about the book I chose for bedtime stories.

It’s not always like this, but sometimes it just IS.Even the most stalwart of moms can get worn out from misbehavior.

 I’m not the mom who is going to pretend that her kids have it all together. I’m also not the mom who disciplines with swift punishments resulting in more ship shape behavior out of fear. Mine will wrestle against authority. Stretch the boundaries of my grace. Be led to repentance over time because of my loving-kindness.  They will take a childhood to learn, grow, repent, train, and mature. Of course, we will deal with each issue as it arises, continuing to teach and train and point our kids to Christ—but some days it feels like one conflict after another, doesn’t it? 

Some of their behaviors are immaturity in action. Others are willfully wrong and they know it. But what’s most at stake on these harder days is my own spiritual tenacity as their mother.

Here’s what I mean:

“Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” (Luke 17:3-4)

When I consider this verse as it applies to my parenting, it’s convicting. Am I willing to be as forgiving at bedtime as I am in the morning before all the “offenses” have added up through the day? Can I forgive and forget after a long day of misbehavior? Am I willing to forgive them when they still don’t even acknowledge or understand the impact of their choices? I have no problem applying this verse to other mature adults but how often do I consider verses like this in light of how I relate to my kids?

When we forgive our children from sun up to sun down we mirror Christ to them. That’s the very thing I want to accomplish most as a mom.

Mothering is a beautiful thing. There’s boundless joy and myriads of wonderful moments where we see growth and love abound in our children, but when the hard chapters seem to flow one after the other, I’m reminded that I need to forgive and forgive and forgive again in all the purity of what forgiveness entails.

Forgive motivated by love.

Forgive without resignation.

Forgive with hope.

Forgive while believing the best.

Forgive the seventh time.

Or the seventieth.

(Here's a practical post you might enjoy called, 5 Steps We Teach Our Kids To Apologize Biblically!)

SHARE: Do you get worn down by certain perpetual behaviors with your kids? Is there any seed of resentment, bitterness, anger, or hopelessness in your heart as a result? I hope we can all be filled by the cleansing Word of God so that we can forgive as many times as we need to and persevere with hope! How can I pray for you today? 



Chore Charts Are Fine, But I Prefer Reward Charts!

I have never been a “chore chart” person. I love the idea and as organized as I am, it seems to me that I of all people should have one, but I don’t. That may change as my kids get a bit older but for us right now, I’m just not that into it. 

I prefer a different method of using chartS--REWARD CHARTS!

Years ago, as an elementary school teacher, I kept a large glass jar on my desk and a massive roll of tickets in my top drawer. Every time I caught someone doing something good—helping another student, picking up trash, working diligently, etc. I let them know that I was writing their name on a ticket and tossed it in the jar.

On Fridays, I plunged my hand into the jar and drew 5 names for super fun little prizes to honor the great attitudes, acts of kindness, and stellar work ethic of my students. My 6th graders LOVED it! And so did I!

As a mom, I think this method of fostering positive actions and encouraging my kids is just as effective! One mom recently shared that for her young kids, she was taking a change in their behavior one hour at a time. She set up a reward chart to help one particular little one just for the first two hours of their morning time together. If her son was successful in keeping his hands to himself and not hitting his little brother, he got to put a sticker on the chore chart! After just a few days, she saw a radical change in him! It was far more effective than all the punitive punishments, lectures, and time outs she had tried before. Eventually, she implemented the chart for the two hours leading up to dinner time too!

Here are a few reward charts you can print for free:

Try this FREE REWARD CHART--love the generic colorful design!

If I had a daughter, I would use this Princess Reward Chart (free printable)!

This chart comes in both Super Girl and Super Boy designs! My boys would love it!

This “I Caught You Being Good Jar” is the same idea I used in my classroom! 

Another mom friend, Alexis, tried something similar recently. I love her simple chart she made for her kids. Here’s what she had to say about it:

“I wanted to share this in here- our new "100 Chart". It's a tool for positive reinforcement that my kids have been loving. Instead of specific chore or behaviors whenever my kids do something positive they get a sticker..using an inside voice instead of shouting, cleaning up, helping with a sibling, getting ready quickly etc. It has been a very good tool in my house! And when the chart is filled they get the reward at the bottom! I'm not consistent enough so chore and behavior charts have always failed me but this format has been great!” 

You can even make your own basic layout and set out stickers, glitter and glue, crayons etc. to let your kids decorate the border of their own reward chart—when kids get excited about this fun new reward chart, they are even more motivated to do the right thing!

If you are struggling with a particular behavior or attitude and the cycle of frustration seems to never end, try this approach of positive reinforcement instead. Be upbeat and excited about it! Make a big deal of right actions and don’t freak out when they fail—keep emphasizing the behavior you want to see and honor them when they make progress! Fit the reward to your child’s personality and preferences and keep it achievable so they don’t want to give up! You and your children will find that dwelling on the right and good things you see in one another can change the entire tone of your home—and your relationship! 

(P.S. We NEVER remove a sticker or take away a reward they have earned! That would be super discouraging and defeat the purpose of reinforcing positive behavior. Kids will give up trying if the fun and positive vibe of the reward chart becomes punitive and negative.)



Baby Lia #4 Gender Reveal! Surprise! It's A ................

It's time for the gender reveal of BABY LIA #4!!

Our son Quinn wanted us to use a gender reveal cake so that when we cut it open, it would have either pink or blue frosting, so that’s exactly what we did! 

Without further ado—HERE IT IS!!!


So, what's our new baby's name? Scroll down after the video to find out!






We love the O,Q,O,Q pattern of our sons' names and we have loved the name Quade for many years! Spurgeon is his middle name after the great preacher, Charles Spurgeon whose devotional I have read every day for the last 16 years! Spurgeon is an amazing writer and man of God, so I'm honored to name my son after him! 

If he had been a "she" we would have named her Waverley-Jane Anne Lia! Waverley-Jane would have been her full first name, after Jane Eyre, my favorite novel and character, who again, is an amazing example of someone who is passionate about God! Anne is a family tradition--my mother's middle name, but also another favorite book and character of mine...Anne of Green Gables! 

We are BLESSED and EXCITED to have another baby and we are thrilled to have 4 amazing sons to raise! Will you join me in praying for Quade over these next months? Thank you for sharing in our joy and excitement! Mother of KNIGHTS lives on!! 

YOUR TURN! How many kids do you have? Any all boy or all girl moms out there?